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"Comenius, the English Revolution, and Our Present Plight". Typed Manuscript Signed.
London, 1941.. 4to. 7 pp. on 7 ff.. In honor of his Czech heritage, Kokoschka writes on the contributions of John Amos Comenius (Komensky in Czech, 1592-1670), a religious refugee, pioneer in education, and one of the earliest champions of universal education. Comenius believed in the role of science in society and promoted his belief that the enlightenment of mankind was ahead. Kokoschka's essay compares the life and work of Comenius, specifically when he visited England in 1641, to the present time of post-war reconstruction and how universal education must still be the most important goal of society. His essay begins, "The visit of [...] Comenius [...] evokes our particular interest to-day because official voices are now encouraging the aim of re-making the foundations of the social order, just as they were on the eve of the English Civil War when the famous exile paid his visit to England [...]". - Kokoschka presents information on England in the 17th century, saying "there was [...] no fear of foreign ideas [...] Mystical strains [...] awoke again in the social unrest [...] existing order [...] had come into opposition [...] with this Christian principle of the human dignity of the individual". He comments on Comenius' thought, "Salvation is at hand - through education", and presents his own views on how education suffered after World War I. Kokoschka felt that as Comenius believed in fighting illiteracy, that fight needed to be continued now. - "Mass education seems sometimes to have been a failure. But Comenius' plan has not yet been realized. The resolve of the democratic peoples that this crusade against Fascism shall not again fade out [...] can perhaps best be furthered by focusing attention on the problem of how to free the individual by removing the primary cause of his bondage, that is, education for national ends [...] With the break-up of the middle-ages, nationalism rose to a position of dominance over all human affairs. Nationalism has made the tone of popular thought sometimes inhuman [...] superhuman, but never [...] normal and human. We need a covenant on the guiding principles of of [sic] rational education [...]". - His essay ends with an appeal. "Democracy underrates the growing complacency and despair of the backward masses [...] The essential principle of his [Comenius] educational plan translated into modern language demands from world Democracy an international scientific control of mass-education by a board of internationally minded educational experts and scientists [...] A World Education Board [...] would be the greatest instrument ever forged in the interest of world democracy, and thus indeed a realisation of Komensky's [Comenius] highest aims". - Kokoschka then signs in full with place and date. Rust stain and small tear at top of first page. - Published in 1942 in "The Teacher of Nations: Addresses and Essays in Commemoration of the Visit to England of the Great Czech educationalist Jan Amos Komensky, Comenius". Edited by Joseph Needham (Cambridge University Press).
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Inlibris, Gilhofer Nfg. GmbH]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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